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Antivir Ther. 2018;23(7):593-603. doi: 10.3851/IMP3253. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

Interim analysis of a 3-year follow-up study of NS5A and NS3 resistance-associated substitutions after treatment with grazoprevir-containing regimens in participants with chronic HCV infection.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, NJ, USA.



In HCV-infected people who fail to achieve sustained virological response after receiving a direct-acting antiviral regimen, virological failure is almost always accompanied by the presence of resistance-associated substitutions (RASs) in the target protein(s). The aim of this long-term observational study was to evaluate the persistence of NS3/4A and NS5A RASs in participants with genotype (GT) 1 infection who relapsed following treatment with a grazoprevir-containing treatment regimen.


RASs were evaluated at baseline (that is, pre-dose on day 1 of the original treatment), at the time of virological failure, and up to follow-up week 96. A total of 58 participants were included.


In participants treated with elbasvir/grazoprevir ± ribavirin, observed baseline NS3 RASs included 56F, 80K/L, 122N and 170V/I, and observed treatment-emergent NS3 RASs included 36M, 56F/H, 122G, 132I, 156G/I/L/P/T, 168A/E/G/V/Y and 170T. Observed baseline NS5A RASs included 28M/T/V, 30H/R, 31M/V and 93H/N, and treatment-emergent NS5A RASs included 28A/G/S/T, 30H/R, 31M/V and 93H/N/S. Baseline NS3 and NS5A RASs present at time of failure tended to persist during follow-up, and most were detectable for more than 2 years following virological failure. Treatment-emergent NS5A RASs present at time of failure also tended to persist for more than 2 years following virological failure (93%). By contrast, >80% of treatment-emergent NS3 RASs detected at failure had been supplanted by wild type by week 36.


Treatment-emergent NS5A RASs can persist for extended periods of time. Retreatment strategies should take account of the presence of these RASs.


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